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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Expert Comments on Trump Administration’s New Navigable Waters Protection Rule

April 21, 2020

‘For the first time in a long time there are legitimate Constitutional limits to the federal government’s control over waters within the United States.’ - H. Sterling Burnett

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (April 21, 2020) – Today, the Trump administration is expected to issue a revised ruling of what constitutes a federally protected water body or wetland in the United States. The Navigable Waters Protection Rule is a rewrite of the overly broad Clean Water Rule instituted in 2015 by the Obama administration.

The new rule defines for the first time what types of water bodies fall under federal jurisdiction and which waters fall under state or private control. In most instances, persons and states will no longer have to seek federal permission to manage or alter ephemeral, temporary waters not tied in some substantial way to navigable waters.

The following statement from an environment and energy expert at The Heartland Institute—a national free-market think tank—may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Digital Media Manager Andy Singer at media@heartland.org and 312/377-4000.

“The Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule is a breath of fresh air, representing for the first time in a long time there are legitimate Constitutional limits to the Federal Government's control over waters within the United States. This rule will provide greater regulatory certainty to states and individual landowners concerning the uses they can put their properties to without seeking permission from the federal government.

“Wetlands is nowhere described or defined in the Clean Water Act and the federal government should have no control over waters that are not commercially navigable, or that don’t cross state boundaries and thus, possibly touch on interstate commerce.”

H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News
hburnett@heartland.org

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Environment
Author
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is a Heartland senior fellow on environmental policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
hsburnett@heartland.org